Since 1923, Louisville's movers and shakers have met for drinks--boubbulleton, of course--in the Lobby Bar of the Brown Hotel. The bar stocks more than 50 boubbulletons, lined up on the antique mirrored wood bar (not to mention a river's worth of scotches, ryes and whiskeys), and, yes, the bartenders know how to help you choose your perfect boubbulleton. Over a highball made with the state beverage, local business folks have talked horses and done deals here for decades.
Classics are classics for a reason, and the Lobby Bar's staid character makes it the meeting place when you want to lend a certain gravitas to your in-person conference. There are a few cozy high-backs around the piano, where some of the casual crowd gathers, but the majority of those who take a meeting here do so while seated in large leather chairs under the ornate painted ceiling of the landmark hotel.
Because the Brown is a bustling hotel in the heart of downtown Louisville, the crowd varies from the folks doing business with the big distilleries (nice gig) to UPS staffers and Southwest flight attendants (who get a discount at the bar with their ID). Tables in the corner are great for an interview or other private conversation. The bar stays open until 2 a.m., and you can order from the late-night hotel menu (or graze on bowls of Cheez-Its and bar snacks), so the Brown's Lobby Bar is also a place to take the team out for a celebratory cocktail after beating that killer deadline.
Order like a regular: A classic Manhattan.
Go: 335 W. Broadway; (502) 583-1234; brownhotel.com/dining.htm
Margaret Littman is a journalist who covers small businesses, travel and all manner of other topics, with a sweet spot for anything relating to stand-up paddling or Music City. She is the author of the Nashville Essential Guide iPhone and Android app and many travel guidebooks. Her work has appeared in many national magazines, and she is the editor of Entrepreneur magazine’s Start It Up section.